Avner Moriah: The Five Books of Moses - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Avner Moriah: The Five Books of Moses

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Avner Moriah

Avner Moriah: Five Books of Moses
On view: September 19 - December 30, 2019

"In 2007, I embarked on an artistic and spiritual journey to illustrate the Five Books of Moses and contribute a unique visual interpretation of these ancient texts for all who hold dear both the written word and painted image. Each book was carefully researched for its singular role in the whole, inspiring hundreds of original drawings illustrating the stories behind the words.

Reflecting back, I recall the day I bought the first roll of paper for Genesis on Canal Street. On the subway back to my studio, I marveled at the simple blank paper that would soon be imbued with God’s spirit—and knew I was ready to begin my journey.

More than a decade later, this paper that I hand-painted in watercolor, gouache, and gold leaf alongside the Hebrew text in artisan calligraphy has come together as a singular work of art and a profound tribute to the tradition of millennia. Upon completing this unparalleled undertaking, I extend my hope that this original body of work brings others the delight and inspiration that saw me through this enterprise.

The completed volumes now have a life of their own. They are just beginning their independent journey not only as objects of beauty but as contemporary vessels of Jewish education and learning for generations to come."

-- Avner Moriah, Jerusalem

Presented at the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum by the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Center for Jewish Learning and Culture, with the support of George, z”l, and Mildred Weissman.

Avner Moriah’s Five Books of Moses have been donated to Hebrew Union College - Jewish Iinstitute of Religion’s Klau Library by Sheila and Bill Lambert in memory of Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., z”l, HUC-JIR Past President (2014-2018), and Rabbi David Posner, z”l, Senior Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York (1973-2013) and former member of the HUC-JIR Board of Governors (2005-2015).

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Video of the Dedication Service


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu